Sports department for the student run radio station 90.3 WRST at UW-Oshkosh
The time of year has come. There may still be snow on the ground, but spring training has begun in Arizona and Florida, which means it might be time to start thinking about your fantasy baseball team again.
Personally, I never got too involved with fantasy baseball. I’ll stick to fantasy football and just watch the baseball games. For those of you who want a leg up on your league this year, though, here’s my scoop on some sleepers from the AL to keep in mind in the last few rounds.
According to sportsnetwork.com, if you’re looking for a regular behind the plate, you might want to consider Astros backstop Jason Castro. He’s been hampered by an ACL injury that kept him out all of 2011. His stats during the 2012 campaign were .257 in 257 at-bats with 6 home runs and a total of 29 RBI. If he can become an everyday player this season, expect those numbers to be somewhere around 12 home runs and 60 RBI, along with an increase in his average.
If you’re saving the late rounds to pick up a DH, check out Luke Scott from the Rays. Last season, he hit .229 with 14 homers while knocking in 55, but that was a season in which, like Castro, he was battling an injury. In Scott’s case, a shoulder injury.Like Castro, expect much better numbers from Scott this year now that he’s back to form. He might not be the big power guy, but if he shows anything like he did before his injury, he could be a steal.
If it’s pitching you’re looking for, keep an eye on Mariners starter Blake Beaven. He pitches half of his games at Safeco Field, one of the most pitcher-friendly in the league. His bases on balls rate is very low. He issued on 24 all of last year. His strikeout rate could be higher, but he went 8-5 with a 3.40 ERA and 1.16 WHIP after the All-Star Break.
Finally, what fantasy team wouldn’t be complete without a good relief pitcher? Ernesto Frieri is coming into this year as the eighth-inning set-up man for Ryan Madson, who the Angels signed from free agency. Frieri was the Angels’ closer last year and ended last year with a 2.32 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. Madson is coming off missing the entire 2012 season after Tommy John surgery, so if Frieri sees an opening, expect him to run with it to potentially reclaim the closer spot.
World of Sports: Another loss for a No. 1 this season in college basketball, and for the third time, it was the Indiana Hoosiers who went down last night at the hands of Big Ten foe Minnesota by a final score of 77 to 73. Previously, the Hoosiers had lost to the Butler Bulldogs and the Badgers while sitting atop the AP standings. Other losses by top-ranked teams this season include Duke, Louisville, & Michigan. Given that Indiana has had the most losses by a No. 1 team this season, watch out for a bracket buster to upset the Hoosiers early in the tournament. All the top-seeded teams should be on guard this year, because we’ve seen so many top ranked teams lose during the regular season, and that’s going to set up a wild couple weeks come March with more than the usual amount of upsets.
Trevor Uitenbroek, Assistant Sports Director